If you’re the type of gamer who has a puzzled look on his or her face when presented with an arcade stick, then you are no doubt wondering what you can do to make your fighting game life easier. Let’s face it, the stock control pads of the modern console era only serve to destroy your thumbs and leave them in a sore blistered state, or are so inaccurate you spend most of the time fighting the game instead of your opponent. It’s a good thing then that third party companies like Mad Catz have seen a hole in the market in recent years and have decided to plug it.
Mad Catz have added to their fightpad line-up with a newer Street Fighter x Tekken version. This latest pad is 15% smaller than the original, which is quite a surprise as its predecessor was never an unwieldy beast to begin with. Other than its size, almost everything remains in keeping with the design of the older model. The layout is reminiscent of a SEGA genesis pad with the right trigger and bumper moved to the face of the pad alongside your standard X, Y, A and B buttons for easier access. Each of these buttons has a turbo function that can be activated using the aptly named “turbo” button, which is handy when playing other retro style arcade games. The floating d-pad is still a joy to use and undoubtedly makes things easier on the thumb when tackling your favourite fighters. To add to that, on the reverse of the pad you will find a toggle switch for the d-pad, allowing you to emulate your consoles d-pad, left analog stick or right analog stick.
The only real change comes in how you connect the pad to your console. Mad Catz has removed the PlayStation 3 wireless version from this iteration of the pad, a move that will no doubt make tournament enthusiasts very happy. Not everything is great though, as you might find that the left trigger and bumper buttons at the top of the pad have very little “give”, and can be quite annoying to hit for extended periods of play if you have slightly larger hands. Speaking of that, if you do happen to have big hands, you might find the pad slightly uncomfortable to hold. However, if your hands are of a “normal” size this shouldn’t be a a problem, especially if you’re tired of using your standard console pad when playing fighting games. Whilst the Street Fighter x Tekken Fightpad SD isn’t a huge improvement over the original, it’s is also quite handy when playing classic downloadable titles such as Sonic, which controls superbly.
The Street Fighter X Tekken Fightpad SD comes in four art variants and will set you back £34.99/$39.99.